Environmental Grant Program
Our commitment to protecting the environment runs deep and we’re proud to support the efforts of local organizations that share our vision.
Established in 2005, our annual Environmental Grant Program offers funding for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and groundwater supplies in our local communities. To date, we have donated more than $490,000 to fund more than 100 projects to protect and improve the environment across the Commonwealth.
Our 2020 Environmental Grant Program is now open! For more information, please see our 2020 Program Brochure and Grant Application Form. Applications must be postmarked by March 31, 2020.
In 2019, eight Environmental Grant recipients received a share of grant funds totaling $40,000 for their community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds:
- Allegheny Land Trust – Engaging Girls in Watershed Exploration with STREAM Girls ($8,000)
- This program uses female role models and experience-based learning to increase girls’ interest in science, technology, recreation, engineering, art and math. The grant will help expand the STREAM Girls program into Washington County for the first time in partnership with the Penns Woods West and Chestnut Ridge Chapters of Trout Unlimited and the Foundation of Pennsylvania Watersheds.
- Ellwood City Borough – Five Point Community Garden ($8,000) - The project funded by this grant will rehabilitate Five Point Park into multiple community gardens, which will be used for stormwater management, recreation and food production. The improvements will add a walking path with benches and educational signage, and the new area will serve as a host site for educational workshops on home stormwater management and gardening.
- Greater Carbondale YMCA – Racket Brook Riparian Restoration ($6,000) - With the funds provided for this project, volunteers will remove invasive knotweed and replant the riparian zone along Racket Brook with native shrubs and trees. The riparian restoration will provide vegetative cover on the banks and over the creek to improve conditions for aquatic life, improve aesthetics, stabilize the bank, and create access to the creek for environmental education.
- Indiana Borough – Indiana County Stormwater Education Rain Barrel Workshop ($800) - This grant will allow the Borough to host a workshop to educate the community on stormwater management, give out rain barrels, and provide information on how rain barrels can help achieve long-term sustainability by helping to alleviate stormwater overflows and prevent pollution in Marsh Run and Stoney Run, which flow into Two Lick Creek at the headwaters of the Allegheny.
- Londonderry Township – Community Buffer Planting and Rain Barrel Workshop ($4,000) - With this funding, the Township will plant approximately 180 trees and shrubs in a riparian buffer area along Swatara Creek Road, which is part of an ongoing restoration site. The Township will also host a community workshop to educate residents on home stormwater management and provide methods for reducing run-off and recycling storm water through residential rain barrel collection systems.
- Lower Chartiers Watershed Association – “Why is my Stream Orange?” Traditional and Crowdsourced Water Monitoring ($5,000) - The project seeks to identify and target the most significant sources of abandoned mine drainage on Robinson Run, which is a tributary within the Lower Chartiers Creek Watershed. The funding provided by this grant will be used to purchase water quality monitoring equipment and produce a detailed water quality assessment utilizing volunteer-based biologic and chemical water monitoring.
- Silver Spring Township – Stormwater Management for Your Home Workshop ($1,200) - With this grant, the Township will provide rain barrels and host a workshop to inform residents of the environmental issues surrounding non-point source pollutants and to educate residents on properly mitigating these issues on residential properties.
- Wilson West Middle School – Wilson TAP H2O - Teaching and Protecting Water ($6,500) - Funding will help build a 1,000-square-foot pollinator rain garden, improve stormwater outflows during rain events, remove invasive species, improve local stream banks and complete an extensive native tree and plant restoration project in the wetland area around Little Cacoosing Creek, which is part of the Schuylkill River Watershed. Existing curriculum also will be enhanced with new areas of study for students and community residents through this grant.
A panel of judges selected the grant recipients from 22 applications, which were evaluated on such criteria as environmental need, innovation, community engagement and sustainability.
Wilson Wilson West Middle School Special Education instructor
Javius Galan used a 2019 environmental grant to purchase saplings for students to plant on school
grounds in Sinking Spring. This project was part of an ongoing effort by Galan
and other Wilson West teachers to plant more than 2,000 native trees, plants,
grasses, and shrubs on the wetlands behind the school to create an
environmental education area for students and the surrounding community.